Finnish Consumer Disputes Panel finds Microsoft liable for damages caused by faulty Windows 10 Automatic Updates

We are still seeing the fallout from Microsoft’s contention campaign to encourage and sometimes force Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Now in what may be a precedent-setting case, the Finnish Consumer Disputes Panel has ruled damages caused by such an update to a Windows 8 user should be compensated by Microsoft, to the tune of 1,100 euro (about $1,254.)

The complainant had asked for 3000 euro, saying in 2016 Microsoft automatically upgraded his Windows 8 PC to Windows 10, causing it to malfunction in a way Microsoft’s support was unable to fix and resulting in his camera surveillance software no longer working. He had asked to be compensated for the cost of replacing the cameras but was able to explain why this was needed.

Microsoft did not offer a robust defence, saying the man’s claims were unreasonable, that he received free customer support, and that Microsoft was not responsible for his control software.

Microsoft did not, however, deny that the new operating system could have been downloaded without his permission.

The man insisted and the panel agreed Microsoft had no automatic right to install the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and in addition had an obligation to perform the work correctly, which they did not.

They noted:

In the opinion of the Board, the service was not carried out professionally and carefully and in the interests of the subscriber, as required by the Consumer Protection Act. There was a mistake, and Microsoft said the committee was liable for the damage caused.

The panel awarded the complainant 1100 euro: 1000 euro for spare part and service cost and 100 euro travel expenses, which Microsoft must compensate. Companies usually comply with the recommendations.

A question does arise whether Microsoft would, in general, be liable for any damages caused directly by their automatic update policy, something which the courts will likely have to decide in the end.

Read more at Yle.fi.

Via Tero Alhonen.

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